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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Penn State Scandal: Child Abuse Coverup?

     Jerry Sandusky faces 52 counts of child molestation involving 10 male victims between the ages 8 to 17. The 68-year-old former football coach under Joe Paterno is awaiting his trial under house arrest. Sandusky was taken into custody in November 2011 along with athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz. Curley and Schultz have been charged with failing to properly report Sandusky's suspected child molestation, and lying to a grand jury. Joe Paterno, tarred by the scandal but not charged, died in January 2011 from lung cancer.

     Eight of Sandusky's eight victims were molested on the Penn State Campus. Another boy, referred to in court papers as Victim 4, was molested in Florida and Texas when the team traveled to these places for games. Sandusky had sex with the tenth victim at the boy's school.

     On February 29, Judge John Cleland denied Sandusky's motion for a two-month trial delay. The prosecutor had asked for a change of venue, but the case will be tried in Penn State country where it will be hard to find, in my view, jurors who are not sympathetic to the defendant.

     Sandusky and the two former university administrators aren't the only Penn State people under investigation. The FBI has entered the case, and on February 2, served a subpoena on the school. The feds are seeking correspondence, computer hard drives, and various other documents that might prove an institutional conspiracy to coverup Sandusky's crimes.

     It hardly stretches the imagination to envision school officials with knowledge of Sandusky's obsession with young boys, molestations, and even accusations of abuse, doing whatever it took to sweep it all under the rug. When it comes to protecting reputations and images, colleges and universities are extremely aggressive. (To get away with overcharging students, campus life has to be presented as four years in paradise.) To this end, schools are capable of bribery, intimidation, and obstruction of justice.  

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